New York now has a piece of my heart. What a memory, my very first RWA Nationals and a Golden Heart Finalist on top of it. My first day walking into the hotel, I happened to ride up the escalators with none other than the gracious and lovely Eloisa James who promptly invited me to join her for a cup of coffee. What a way to start my first conference!
From that second on, it was a whirlwind of activity that never let up. Attending workshops, trying to absorb all the incredible opportunities, meeting writers I'd admired for many years, and meeting my fellow nominees--it was a blur that went by too fast. On Friday, the Golden Heart and RITA nominees were honored at a reception where I was presented my certificate for making the finals. Thank goodness for the photo, because it all seems like a dream now.
In so many ways, it was almost too much to absorb. It seems cliche to say that being nominated is enough, but it truly is for me. I'm now a part of a group of writers who've become friends in this shared experience, the 2015 Golden Heart "Dragonflies." Our sisterhood of 46 chat daily, and they are a source of support and camaradarie that is priceless. I so wish we had a photo of the entire group together, but I do have this one taken after the awards presentations. What an amazing night it was.
It doesn't require a win to thank people, and I have many people to thank. First on the list is the RWA and all the local chapter members who volunteer their time to sponsor contests, judge and provide writers with amazing feedback. The resources and opportunities the organization provides its members is unsurpassed. My local chapter, Music City Romance Writers tops that list. I have numerous critique partners who've helped me along the way, none more than Charissa Weaks, my plot and structure guru who convinced me I needed to toss my manuscript and start over. I have no doubt I wouldn't have the Golden Heart nomination without her pushing me in the right direction.
And last but not least, my amazing fellow 2014 Pitch Warriors who came to New York for a mini-reunion during RWA. For me, the absolute best part of this trip was spending time with these friends and valued critique partners I'd yet to meet until New York. And best yet, having them with me for the Awards ceremony. Hopefully, this first reunion will be the first of many to come.